There are literally hundreds of tiny habits that successful entrepreneurs take on board over the course of their careers but a commitment to action rather procrastination is the big one that cannot be ignored.
As a wise and very ancient small, green gentlemen once so memorably observed – Do or do not. There is no try.
Once you’ve taken that core lesson to heart though, it’s time to start building your own personal library of go-to strategies to build out your future success.
In this article we’ll step through five specific examples on how to be a successful entrepreneur. These are what high performers have relied on daily since time immemorial.
- Reflect on failure
Failure, at some stage, is inevitable – particularly if you’ve chosen the entrepreneurial path. It’s a question of when rather than if.
What separates those who bounce back from failure and those who are crushed by it is the ability to do two things:
- Accept that failure has actually occurred.
- Honestly investigate its causes.
These might sound like obvious enough steps to take but they both require a level of intellectual honesty and emotional self-control that can be genuinely beyond many people in the aftermath of something going wrong.
- Make fear your friend
One of the emotions that stops people from adequately carrying out the first task on our list is of course fear. People are afraid of what an honest post-mortem of a high-profile failure may reveal about themselves and their role in it.
Fear is one of the most limiting of all emotions, a genuinely immobilizing force in a huge percentage of people’s personal and business lives. It exists for a very good reason in evolutionary terms however.
Fear is not there to be ignored. Fear is there to be calmly faced and understood.
Anytime you are afraid, that is simply your subconscious trying to make you aware of something. The message may be garbled, the underlying meaning horribly poorly transmitted, but something worth paying attention to is taking place.
Learn to accept your fears and calmly investigate what they are trying to teach you and you will turbocharge your ability to take meaningful action.
- Master self-discipline
A key part of being able to stay calm in the face of fear is of course self-discipline. There’s just no getting around it – this a quality you simply can’t afford to be without.
The mistake a lot of people make is thinking of self-discipline as a limitless resource that can be tapped into at will. It is not.
Self-discipline is a reservoir that must be filled. It can run dry if over-used and must be constantly topped up. Managing those reserves is a discipline in itself.
- Practice sleep hygiene
One of the best ways of building those supplies of self-discipline is by introducing a framework of positive habits into your life, a scaffolding of success to give your day’s structure and meaning.
As you construct this series of simple daily habits, you’ll find yourself sailing along with the wind at your back rather than constantly facing into a storm of your own making.
There is virtually no better habit to cultivate in that regard than the habit of sleeping well.
It’s a massive subject to cover so we’ll limit ourselves to this simple observation: scientists are increasingly discovering that sleep is the master hormone regulator, the biological process that effectively rules all others.
Whether it’s in terms of recovery, mood, performance, longevity or a host of other factors, sleep is one of the biggest ways you can move the needle in your daily life. Take it extremely seriously.
- Pay it forward
The items we’ve listed so far have been largely personal in nature, intrinsic qualities to be nurtured. In order to live a life in balance, we need some sort of external focus to put all this challenging inner work in context and give it a greater meaning.
Some people find that in faith, some in community, family, activism or charitable work. Many people contribute across all those areas. The key thing to stress is the concept of actively giving back.
You’ll see this time and again with the most successful people on earth. At a certain stage, the single most important thing in their lives becomes giving back to others.
Think of the work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Warren Buffett’s incredible pledge to donate the majority of his wealth to it.
Or the recent drive by success guru Tony Robbins to help feed the poor and hungry of the richest nation on earth.
Success means nothing without a sense of wider purpose. Make it a daily task to reflect on yours and push it forward.
As we hope the points above have helped to drive home, success is largely a matter of habit. Start cultivating the right ones and you will be one step closer to your long-term goals every day.